The L96A1 is extremely powerful, due to its high damage multipliers, which ensures a one-hit kill to the shoulders, stomach, chest or head. This makes it a favorite weapon of trick shooters. However, the L96A1 has very high recoil, a slow center speed, and a low rate of fire. This leaves the player vulnerable and makes follow up shots difficult.
It also has the highest amount of sway of all the sniper rifles. This follows the trend given to most bolt-action sniper rifles in the Call of Duty series, such as the R700 from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and the Intervention from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
The L96A1 utilizes the semi-unique SUSAT scope when equipped with the ACOG scope, sharing this trait with the Enfield. Like other sniper rifles, when using a Suppressor without using the Warlord perk, the L96A1 can only get one shot kills to the head and neck. However, since all snipers have the same damage multipliers to the head, the L96A1 is a poor choice to use while silenced, due to the high recoil and low fire rate.
Due to its potential for one shot kills, it is one of the most commonly seen sniper rifles. The primary difference between the L96A1 and the PSG1 is that the L96A1 has a slower fire rate due to being bolt action, but in return has a 1.5 multiplier to the shoulders, allowing for more consistent one shot kills to the upper body. The PSG1 on the other hand has lower sway and can be fired semi-automatically. With these details in mind, choosing the L96A1 or the PSG1 comes down to personal preference.
In Nazi Zombies, it is available out of the Mystery Box, and is a one-hit-kill in the early rounds but after round 7 it loses its one-hit-kill ability to body shots. After round 11 it becomes very weak, and should be either traded in or Pack-a-Punched. When upgraded in the Pack-a-Punch machine, it becomes the "L115 Isolator" where its damage is increased and receives Variable Zoom scope. It loses its one-hit-kill ability approximately at round 16. However, due to its small magazine and low hip fire accuracy, it is not recommended for use beyond round 11 or so. Ever though it's not very practical in terms of surviving, it can kill somewhat effectively, even at higher rounds. The reason for this being that zombies have extremely high health, roughly 7000 at round 30. At this point it would take a full 35 round clip from an upgraded Galil to kill a single zombie while the upgraded L96A1 would still be killing in one headshot until round 34 and would be a 2 shot kill to the head until round 41. All of this goes for the Dragunov, too, as it shares exactly the same damage as the L115 Isolator when upgraded.